tova Posted November 11, 2011 Report Share Posted November 11, 2011 My 16 year old son (now a junior in high school) was thrilled when he got accepted into the professional division of PNB and after many talks we decided to allow him to do this. I moved to Seattle with him (his other mother stayed at our home about 5 hours away) so he could do this. In the past because of his dance schedule, he did some online school (which worked for about a year, but then was really not a good match) and then for part of last year (as a sophomore) he went to the community college and got concurrent high school and college credits, which as far as school went he liked quite a bit and got a lot out of it and it allowed him to have a rigorous dance schedule. Still, the schedule and demands of a small town/city studio (despite his amazing teacher who had a thrilling career) is not the same as being in the professional division of a major company. We had hoped he could do the community college program here, but his schedule is not only intense but also not consistent (different for weeks when they have rehearsals and performances) and he really didn't want to do online school again. He's also the youngest in the pd and although there are some 17 year olds, they are mostly done with school. There are a couple of girls, he tells me, who are seniors and doing online school, but the first year pd girls schedule is not quite as rigorous. He's always done well in school, especially math and science, and did well in the community college too. I write and teach and am happy to make up curriculum for him with the assistance of some online curriculum too. I try to make it relevant for him, always have a dance component (e.g., he read the chosen and i had him do a unit on religious dancing). We have told him he can take his GED at the end of the year and I'm starting to have him study for that. Here's the issue. While being an excellent student, he is sort of a dreamer and reads rather slowly. His grade school teachers used to say he had the best spelling sentences, but that was because he would spend a ton of time thinking about a variety of sentences and deciding which one was best. At the moment, he's really not motivated to do school and does it almost completely because he knows we are "making him" do it, although he says the work is interesting. He says he knows he is going to be a professional dancer (and being in the pd of a major company on full scholarship at 16 and a male makes me think that's certainly a very good chance of that) and so he's not motivated to do school and he just wants to dance and learn about dance (he feels a little like other kids have had more experience with bigger places than he). When I say he might need the education later, he says after his career he's going to choreograph and teach (which he likes to do). I go back and forth constantly about how much work to give him, what's really important to learn, etc. He comes home and might take an hour and half or so to eat dinner and another 30 -40 minutes for cleaning up and I tell him he doesn't have time for that, that he needs to get his school work done or at least some reading. I don't know if he's avoiding or just exhausted from all the dancing, as well as other strains for a 16 year old (like being away form his friends), though he says he LOVES it and is getting the training he NEEDS and it was the right decision. I see dance wise it was definitely the right decision, he needed more challenges, but I'm concerned about his schooling (and I'm isolated as other PD parents arent' here with their kids cause their kids are older and home school people are in a different situation). I know I'm very academically oriented myself, so I struggle there and know with his grades and a GED, minimally he could go back to community college (he already has 12+ college credits) if he ever wanted to go to college. I don't want to argue with him all the time, which we are doing a lot, but i DO think he needs to still have some basics -- history, science, various cultural things, writing. He's not like some of the kids I hear about in ballet forums - the super organized, ap students, while doing X# of hours a week for ballet, but he is a good student when he is focused on that, has an A average, but he is very slow and not really motivated at the moment. He does seem to be a more experiential learner, but there's often little time for that kind of thing with a little break in the afternoon and a couple hours at nite (and sometimes not with rehearsals). I read about 'unschooling" and think about that some - maybe he should just read a lot and surely he's being disciplined to do the program he's in, but...Sigh. help??? Quote Link to comment
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